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    COLUMN: Restarting NBA season at Disney bound to be one scary ride

    May 22, 2020
    spin zone

    CHICAGO - Seventy-one days after the NBA closed shop, there finally is a glimmer of hope that the 2019-20 season may be salvaged after all.

    Nothing is etched in stone but HoopsHype is reporting a truncated 70-game regular season with three weeks of training camp before hostilities begin sometime in July.

    Disney World in Orlando, Las Vegas and Houston are possible locations for the restart in a bubble. There will be no fans in the arena and only a limited number of essential media will be permitted inside.

    All the joyful noise - the cheers and jeers, the heckling, the beer call, the t-shirt toss, the halftime show and all of that exciting stuff - are central to the game experience. Without it, the "new normal" looks a lot less charming than the eternally gorgeous Fraulein Olavario.

    Cloudy with a chance of boring.

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    But nobody ever said it would be easy. Restarting the NBA has more complications than diabetes.

    What if, God forbid, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo all test positive for COVID-19 and would be required to immediately submit to a mandatory 14-day quarantine?

    Not only would it torpedo their respective team's title chances, you'd need an army of cardiologists to tend to hordes of broken-hearted fans. Look, Alex Caruso is a damn good player but outside of his family and loved ones, he probably ain't the reason why people watch Lakers games.

    Key players falling ill creates a scenario where the Finals will have less All-Stars and more suggestions of an asterisk attached to the 2020 NBA champions.

    I don't care. I'll still watch the games, diminished or otherwise.

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    And I'm pulling hard for the NBA to come back and stimulate a U.S. economy where the unemployment rate plunged to a scary 14.7 percent in April while the number of people losing their jobs has exceeded 30 million.

    Sports used to be a saving grace, a pleasant diversion from the wreck of our misery- infested lives. But in this awful pandemic, many are turning to sports to save lives and livelihoods.

    Truth, indeed, is stranger than fiction.

    WOJ IS THE MAN. After years of polite resistance, I finally succumbed and entered the world of Twitter.

    Former PBA commisisoner and radio host Noli Eala officially welcomed me to Twitterverse during my NBA segment at Power and Play with Kom Noli last Saturday over at Radyo Singko 93.5 FM.

    In his usual burst of delightful enthusiasm, Noli referred to my recent Kai Sotto tweets as "Homer's Homeruns," a poor man's version of the famous "Woj Bombs" by ESPN's Adrian Wojranowski.

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      Immensely flattered to be bunched in the same sentence with the revered ESPN news breaker but we are anything but alike. Woj has a robust following of four million. I only have money and good fortune follow me,

      I've met Woj several times in the course of my NBA travels over the years and he is actually a super nice guy. This past February at the All-Star Game, I introduced my writers to him and he was extremely gracious with his time.

      I've always been bad at following orders, rules, and directions. But I'm telling you right now, I am merrily following @wojespn on Twitter.

      You should, too.

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      PHOTO: AP
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